Anxious? Stressed? You are not alone. Let’s face it most mums in normal times find parenting fairly stressful, but after a year of covid/lockdowns/home-schooling and no social – life, most mums are saying that they are really struggling with their mental health. The big problem is, is that unchecked stress IS dangerous. It CAN kill.
If you think I’m exaggerating just think about the type of illnesses that stress causes: High blood pressure, heart attack, stroke. These are ALL killers and we must not underestimate the seriousness.
Then we move on to the fact that chronically stressed mums and dads tend to be more insensitive to their children’s needs. Research and studies have shown that a parent’s ability to be able to manage stress is a good sign of the quality of the relationship with their children and indeed how happy they are.
How do you know, though, if your stress is having a bad effect on your children? Here are a couple of little quizzes.
- Do you have fun with your children in your home? Do you have time to ENJOY the children’s company in a relaxed way?
- If you asked your children to describe you, would they say you are a lovely calm person to be around or are you always shouting at them? (be honest!)
- If you asked your children if they think you take time to listen to them and hear their worries and anxieties, what would they say?
If your home environment is a place where you feel uneasy and your children describe you as tense and emotional, it’s time to have a look at your stress levels. I have put down here just a few little techniques that might help. However, if you feel extremely stressed, are experiencing headaches or forgetting things, do find some help. One of my mums who booked a few sessions on -line with me recently said: “It was my husband who said he thought I ought to get some help as I was constantly getting headaches, not sleeping and losing my temper with everyone. I chose Elaine at Focus Hypnotherapy because I had heard such wonderful recommendations about her. Literally within five minutes of being on -line I felt calmer! It was amazing. Elaine was brilliant – she didn’t judge me, even when I told her I had sworn at my teenager! She put me in a very light trance and put some very positive suggestions into my subconscious mind. It was so relaxing and when I got home my husband actually smiled, gave me a hug and said ‘Oh I can see I’ve got my wife back!”
So, if YOU feel stressed, anxious or depressed just have a look at these techniques:
- Tune in to your body. Just sit still for a few minutes and just be aware of how your body is re-acting. Are you dizzy? Have you got a headache? Does your heart rate feel like it’s racing? Have you been screaming or shouting?
- Give your-self permission, to take a mummy break every now and then. Even if only ten minutes to sit down and flick through a magazine with a cup of camomile tea!
- Try to figure out the most stressful times of the day. If it’s the mornings because your children are looking for their uniform or struggling to get breakfast – get it all ready the night before to make things easier in the morning.
- Learning how to meditate can be so good for you! Abdominal breathing will calm you and help your body to relax even more. Slowly count to five as you breathe in, hold it for three seconds, then slowly breathe out the same way. You could also teach these to your children!
- If you are feeling VERY stressed, you can do some elevator breathing. Imagine you are in an elevator on the top floor maybe twenty floors up. Close your eyes and breathe slowly in and out three times. Press the button for the ground floor and imagine watching the buttons light up as the lift goes down, down, down, and down. Tell yourself that by the time the lift gets to the ground floor, you will feel much calmer.
- Go for a walk as often as you can – walking is great for getting fresh air, exercise and clearing your head of negative thoughts.
- Laughter is a huge facilitator. It will help you feel so much happier – watch a comedy show on TV – ask your kids to tell you some jokes!
- Be spontaneous. Do some silly things with the children – dress up and sing some songs! Find some fun ways to bring some more laughter into your life.
- Find a support group but be aware that people don’t bring YOU down!
- Exercise, not necessarily the gym but anything! Bike rides with the kids. Dancing to some funky music with the kids. Yoga. There are so many forms of exercise you can do alone or with the family.
So, you now have ten tips to help you with your stress.
You know, as an ex- Air Hostess I can tell you from personal experience how important it is to put your own oxygen mask on before you can help anyone else. You have to look after YOU first and you can’t be a good mum if you have no energy, no strength, no sense of humour and are constantly stressed! YOU are important!
And if you feel you need a little bit of extra help in the form of a relaxo-therapy session, do contact me at: